Online rich media (ORM) continues to emanate from PowerPoint. And then comes Apreso, the name of the product that I am exploring. Predictably, Apreso uses PowerPoint as its source. Unpredictably though, Apreso manages to do so much more at the same time that it almost threatens to create a new presentation workflow. If that got you interested, let's proceed and discover the nuances of this amazing PowerPoint add-in.
Let me first warn you that this is a four-page comprehensive review, so if you want to read the conclusion, here you go.
Apreso is from Anystream, a company based in Sterling, Virginia, United States that was founded in 2000 by Geoff Allen, who's the President and CEO.
Anystream is traditionally involved with creating software that automates the process of encoding and transcoding media for demanding broadcast and production environments. Anystream's Agility software is used by BskyB, CNet, CNN, Fox News, FoxSports.com, NFL Films, weather.com and several others.
In April 2003, Anystream launched Agility Presenter for PowerPoint, an add-in that plugs into PowerPoint so that presentations can be converted to streaming media with one click. In November that year, Anystream relaunched Agility Presenter as Apreso - simultaneously it launched the Apreso presentation hosting service.
You'll find more info about Anystream, Agility and Apreso at the Anystream site (link no longer exists).
The Apreso product line comprises two components - the Apreso PowerPoint add-in and the Apreso presentation hosting service. And the term Apreso is used for both the product/hosting service and the output. For instance, the ORM (online rich media) output that Apreso creates from a PowerPoint presentation is also called an Apreso.
I would like to thank Darian Germain, my contact at Anystream for her coordination during this review.
Apreso requires PowerPoint 2000 or higher installed on Windows 2000 or XP. You can sign for a free trial account at the Apreso site - this entails filling up a form with your name, email, address, password, etc.
Once you submit the form, an email is sent to you confirming your registration. Also, you are immediately redirected to the download page for Apreso, where you can download the PowerPoint add-in. The add-in for Windows XP weighs 50 mb while the suggested add-in download for Windows 2000 weighs 75 Mb The latter download is also compatible with Windows XP.
Since it's quite a large download, Anystream provides an option for you to order it on CD for just the cost of shipping and handling - however, the shipping rates provided are for shipping within the United States only. For other destinations, you'll have to contact Anystream's customer support department.